With Donovan McNabb down with a broken rib, the Eagles surprised me yesterday and signed their former back-up quarterback, Jeff Garcia, who was cut by the Oakland Raiders last week. During his last stint with the Eagles, Garcia had a great run, leading the team into the playoffs after McNabb went down with a blown ACL. Garcia did a great job, and then left the team to seek greener pastures and a starting position, because he was not going to be the starter in Philadelphia once McNabb returned. He spent several years as the starting quarterback for the woeful Raiders, and was cut at the end of training camp this year. It looked like the end of the road for the 39-year-old Garcia. And then McNabb had a rib broken on a cheap shot after the play ended, and an opportunity for Garcia to resurrect his career arrived.
With Michael Vick not eligible to play this week, and the unproven and unimpressive Kevin Kolb scheduled to start this week, the team needed a back-up quarterback. The Eagles tried to re-sign A. J. Feeley, whom they cut last week, but Feeley had already signed with the Carolina Panthers and was not available. Given the terrible quarterback situation in Charlotte, I certainly can't blame Feeley for seeking out and getting the best deal he could, and I wish him well. He's always been a good guy and a capable back-up, and I hope he finds success with the Panthers.
So, with Feeley unavailable, the Eagles snapped up Garcia. The signing prompted a positive response from McNabb. "Adding Jeff Garcia to the roster is a great idea," wrote McNabb in a statement posted on his blog last night. "He knows our offense and how we do things around here. He's a great teammate, and I look forward to working with him again."
Andy Reid said, "Jeff's going to come on board with us for who knows how long here. We're lucky that Jeff was available. Someone who knows the offense, has been very, very successful in the offense, and can come in and also be a positive influence for Kevin Kolb and everyone else int he locker room. It's a unique situation because Michael [Vick] is suspended for a week and Donovan's banged up. So we don't know how long Donovan's going to be and at the same time we need a second quarterback in there if needed this weekend."
Garcia was his usual classy self. "I am excited to come back to the organization, not excited to come back due to Donovan's injury," he stated. "But I am looking forward to contributing any way I can, whether it's for a week or two weeks or the entire season." The truth is that I would really prefer to see Garcia as the starter this week than Kevin Kolb, because I have this sneaking suspicion that Kolb is never going to get any better than what he is now, which not very good at all. I hope I'm wrong about that, but Garcia at least is a proven commodity and a proven winner. Kolb is untested and unknown, and I have little faith in him.